Andrea Feigl is one of five soigneurs working for the Bora-Argon 18 team during the Tour de France. She has worked for Bora-Argon 18 for six years, starting out with the junior team, and when a professional team was formed, she jumped at the chance of being involved. Similar to other soigneurs on the team, it is a part-time profession and she usually only works on the three Grand Tours. The rest of the year she works as a physiotherapist in Bavaria.
While massage is a key part of a soigneur’s job, tending to the aching limbs of the riders every day, the role is far more varied, and involved everything from buying food from the local supermarket, packing musettes, transporting bags, manning the feed station, and being at the beck and call of the team. Long hours are at the top of the job description. Here Andrea describes a typical day at the Tour de France.
My alarm goes off at 6.30am each day and my first task of the day is to arrange the food for all 15 of our non-riding staff who are on the road (mechanics, sports directors, photographers, soigneurs). It is usually something like sandwiches, noodles or rice – but it takes a while. We use the same kitchen as our chef who has already started preparing the day’s food for the riders.
Baguettes are delivered every morning, but other than that we need to go and get all of our food from a local supermarket. This is done by one of my colleagues – usually one of the soigneurs who is not going to the feed station.